Posted by: frburke23 | February 14, 2016

Thought for the 1st Sunday of Lent

Luke 4:1-13
Filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus returned from the Jordan
and was led by the Spirit into the desert for forty days,
to be tempted by the devil.
He ate nothing during those days,
and when they were over he was hungry.
The devil said to him,
“If you are the Son of God,
command this stone to become bread.”
Jesus answered him,
“It is written, One does not live on bread alone.”
Then he took him up and showed him
all the kingdoms of the world in a single instant.
The devil said to him,
“I shall give to you all this power and glory;
for it has been handed over to me,
and I may give it to whomever I wish.
All this will be yours, if you worship me.”
Jesus said to him in reply,
“It is written:
You shall worship the Lord, your God,
and him alone shall you serve.”
Then he led him to Jerusalem,
made him stand on the parapet of the temple, and said to him,
“If you are the Son of God,
throw yourself down from here, for it is written:
He will command his angels concerning you, to guard you,
With their hands they will support you,
lest you dash your foot against a stone.”
Jesus said to him in reply,
“It also says,
You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test.”
When the devil had finished every temptation,
he departed from him for a time.
We arrived home safely today from the Philippines, thanks be to God. We left Manila and flew to Hong Kong, where we had a 4-hour layover. We looked for a place to celebrate Mass. We looked at the “prayer room” in the airport and it was an empty room, so we decided to celebrate Mass near our gate. Pope Francis has encouraged us to take the Gospel into the streets. It was interesting to see the reactions of people around us. Everyone was respectful and one man even bowed as he walked by us.
I am happy to be back at home and ready to share the Gospel here in the USA. Going on mission helps me to keep things in perspective. I have learned to appreciate all that we have in this country, even the small things. I have learned not to complain about the small things. And I have learned to live more simply.
On the 1st Sunday of Lent, we hear the story of Jesus’ temptation in the desert. Jesus was tempted with pleasure, power and honor. The evil one continues to tempt us with these same things in 2016.
What are the sensual pleasures that the evil one tempts us with today? We are tempted with temptations of sex, drugs, alcohol, food, etc. Think about the temptations you face every day. We are not animals, but we are human beings with intelligence and will. Ask yourself the question before acting, “Will these bring me closer to God or further away?” Matthew Kelly says that we should practice denying ourselves something every day. This is where fasting can help us strengthen our will against the sensual pleasures.
How does the evil one tempt us with power and honor? If we are not grounded in our identity as a beloved son or daughter of God, we can try to find our identity in our work. And we believe the lie that if we climb the corporate ladder, then we will be happy. We tend to believe that if others think highly of us, then we will be happy. Happiness only comes from being rooted in a deep, personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Jesus could avoid temptations by keeping His focus on the Father and the mission He had been given. Jesus invites us today to do the same. Expect temptations in life, especially when you try to grow closer to Jesus. But do not lose hope. Jesus wants to give you the grace in order to resist the temptations around us.
When you recognize temptations, say to yourself, “I love the Lord more than this.” Keep your eyes focused on Him and you will find life abundant in His grace.
Have a blessed Sunday!
Have a blessed day!
Fr. Burke


  1. It is inspiring. Let us hang on to Jesus in the moments of temptation. He was like one of us but still fought against temptation and brought glory to God.

  2. Welcome home and our thanks for taking us along on your pilgrimage. Gods blessings on This Valentines Day.❤️

    Sent from my iPad


  3. Thank you for your words of encouragement,it is good you are home safely.

  4. Welcome home, thank you for sharing. your words are always inspiring.

  5. Hi Father Burke,

    Just wanted to let you know that I really enjoyed reading your daily report on the mission. Very interesting, glad you got home safe and sound.

    God Bless You !

    Dave Warburton


  6. Just want to say Thank You so much for your daily words of our Lord & the reminders how we can stay grounded to our Father! This is a Huge Help in this busy world we live in. Also your daily account of your mission certainly put my life in perspective where I should be & how Blessed I Truly am! My God Bless You Always!😀

    Sent from my iPad


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